Monday, January 29, 2007

Advocates don't do it for free - despite Faculty claims of 'free service'

More in from A Diary of Injustice in Scotland

The Faculty of Advocates claim they have a Free Legal Services Unit with senior members of the profession able to give advice or take on cases for those who can't afford to go to court ... time to debunk that little lie then ...

The top three corrupt professional regulatory bodies in Scotland today, are :

1. The Law Society of Scotland
2. The Faculty of Advocates
3. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland

The first two on the list are currently under the spotlight in the Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill , in terms of their work as self regulators of the Scottish legal profession - widely known to be corrupt when it comes to client complaints against crooked lawyers.

ICAS, the third on the list - which has the capacity in some cases to surpass the Law Society & Faculty on the corrupt regulator list, with it's wide range of dirty tricks & influence in the Banking & Finance sector, as well as having serious political influence .. is yet to be held to account for the misconduct of it's army of some 16,000+ accountants - where it claims there are fewer than 50 complaints a year.

Not to be outdone by the Law Society & Faculty of Advocates, ICAS have lodged amendments to the LPLA Bill with demands their accountants get in on the business of legal services - particularly handling wills & probate .. which we have seen examples of in the past, where the likes of crooked Borders accountant Norman Howitt, of Welchs Accountants, Hawick & Galashiels , robbed my own family - and caused the bankruptcy of some of his former employers too. We will have to keep an eye on the likes of ICAS - who have the likes of the Privy Council on their side ... just waiting to be set upon unsuspecting members of the public who try to make a complaint against their accountant. Time for accountants to be independently regulated too...

Getting back to the Law Society & the Faculty of Advocates .. both of these organisations recognised several years ago, there would probably be some change to the way they regulated their members .. and also changes in their business model - which currently is .. fleece the client for as much as possible, loot anyone you can, inflate bills, do just about anything you like .. and keep the troublemakers away from the courts - but most importantly ... these two organisations had to come up with ways to claim they were doing everything to help members of the public with complaints & claims against negligent or crooked lawyers .. while actually doing nothing.

The Law Society of Scotland hit the streets first in this public relations war .. with the formation of a Pursuers Panel .. which consists of several firms of lawyers who can take on negligence claims against other lawyers ... so, you could theoretically go to one of these legal firms named in the Pursuers Panel list .. and get them to sue another lawyer.

Does the Pursuer's Panel work ?


How do I know the Pursuers Panel doesn't work ?

I tried it myself. Had my case refused by all member firms of the Pursuers Panel on the grounds there is a bar on representing me. The Law Society was made aware of my every step by each firm I went to, and they got their orders to kick my case out. 'Too dangerous' they said .. 'can't have anything to do with you'.. 'get lost'... I know others who have also tried to get the Pursuers Panel to take on their cases against crooked lawyers ... they got the same treatment as myself.

The "Pursuers Panel" was simply formed as one of the public relations measures against the 2001 "Regulation of the Legal Profession Inquiry" which was conducted by the Justice 1 Committee of the Scottish Parliament, chaired by Christine Grahame MSP. The J2 Committee was told all about the "Pursuers Panel" by the Law Society, and how it would make life easy for complainants to sue crooked negligent lawyers .. but no successes of any measure have ever been produced by this entirely fraudulent scheme. The then Justice 1 Committee was either unwilling or unable to ask the proper searching questions of just why it was so difficult to get a lawyer to sue a lawyer .. given the way the J1 Committee conducted the inquiry - banning members of the public from attending hearings to speak of their suffering - even heavily censoring public submissions on their experiences with the Law Society .. in a level of censorship which rivalled the former Soviet Union ... it was widely expected the 2001 inquiry would fail to reform the way in which lawyers regulated lawyers.

Even worse was to come with the Pursuers Panel, such that if a complainant required Civil Legal Aid from the Scottish Legal Aid Board to pursue a case against a negligent or crooked lawyer through the "Pursuer's Panel" scheme ... there was no chance of such a case progressing ... with "Pursuer Panel" member firms declining to take on Civil Legal Aid work .. and of course, there was also Chief Executive Douglas Mill of the Law Society of Scotland just waiting to write in to the Legal Aid Board, opposing any such awarding of legal aid to someone who dared launch a financial claim against a member of the Law Society of Scotland. Did Christine Grahame's Justice 1 Committee ask any questions about that ? No, they didn't.

Not to be outdone by the Law Society of Scotland, the Faculty of Adocates came up with their own fraudulent scheme to say that everything was fine with their own cosy Advocates club ... and for those of us who couldn't obtain the services of and Advocate - we didn't need to worry, because they had formed a "Free Legal Services Unit" - which claimed to offer advice to people unable to afford to go to court.

Does this Free Legal Services Unit scheme work ?


Actually, hardly anyone took the scheme up - as reported in today's Scotsman newspaper, but what is actually happening - as Advocates full well know - no one can actually go direct to the Faculty and consult an Advocate on a case - particularly when it involves crooked or negligent lawyers.

Why is that ?

Well, you have to go through a lawyer first, before you meet an Advocate. It's been like that for decades.

Oh .. but there is the notion of "Direct Access" which the Faculty recently came up with, in yet another attempt at spin to say anyone could get an Advocate if they needed one.

Well, "Direct Access" has so many caveats and conditions .. it is useless ... and of course, I need not remind you all of the existence of the Black Book of Clients (which one solicitor nicknamed it to me) .. where it seems many of those who have complained against solicitors to the Law Society of Scotland are named .. including one Peter Cherbi !

You can have a little laugh at the terms of Direct Access to Advocates.

The Scotsman is reporting that the likes of Donald Findlay, Richard Keen, Roy Martin & more are involved in this Free Legal Services Unit ... I wonder if they would like to represent me and the army of people who have claims against crooked lawyers ? or would they just use their time to discredit our claims & cases to whitewash their collegagues in the legal profession .. sadly .. yes I think to the latter ... just another window dressing exercise from the Faculty to placate themselves in the face of the LPLA Bill reforms.

I think the SNP really need to come up with a policy statement on this whole issue, particularly after the way in which John Swinney MSP has been magnificently helping a constituent against a long & dirty campaign by the Law Society of Scotland to swindle any chance of justice against several firms of crooked lawyers.

Oh .. don't think the Law Society haven't noticed Mr Swinney's work for his constituent ... particularly the nasty controntation in front of the Justice 2 Committee over Mill's interference in claims against crooked lawyers, which I covered here : The Corrupt Link Revealed - How the Law Society of Scotland manages client complaints & settlements. ... in fact, the Law Society have been trying to come up with ways to sway the SNP away from the LPLA Bill and any reform of the legal profession in Scotland .. could it be the stick & carrot approach will be in use again ? the possibilty of funding on offer for a scrapping of any vote in favour of the LPLA Bill or implementation of its terms after next May's Holyrood elections ?

Read on for the, rather short, but very important article, from the Scotsman, at :

Few take up top advocates' free offer

AN OFFER by some of Scotland's top advocates to work for free has been met with a "trickle" of responses, it emerged yesterday.

The Faculty of Advocates formed a Free Legal Services Unit last year, offering legal advice to people unable to afford to go to court. Some 63 QCs have joined the scheme, including high-profile lawyers such as Donald Findlay, Richard Keen and Roy Martin.

The faculty says it has had only a small number of cases referred to it by advice agencies so far and is keen to alert more people to the scheme.

Kenny MacAskill, the SNP's justice spokesman, welcomed the initiative, but added that it was "no substitute for an affordable legal system".

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